Is It Normal for Babies to Pee & Poop in the Womb?

Do Babies Pee & Poop in the Womb?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

A baby’s basic organs start developing by the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. Out of curiosity, you may wonder if babies pee and poop in the womb. Well, if you have this question in your mind and are looking for an answer, your search ends here! Read this article to find out if babies actually pee and poop in the womb.

Do Babies Urinate in the Womb?

As weird as the question sounds, the answer is just as strange to hear. Yes, when in the womb, babies do urinate. By the end of the first trimester, the embryo becomes a foetus. It begins to resemble the human form and does have some of the standard and crucial organs in their preliminary stages. Urine development takes place as well, although it is quite different from the urine we are aware of. It lacks any colour or smell since babies are not digesting any external food yet.

Why Does a Foetus Pee Inside the Womb and Is It Safe?

Now that you know that your little bundle of joy is able to turn your womb into a toilet, your curious brain will want to know if he/she also drinks the pee in the womb. Well, the answer is yes. But, it isn’t as disgusting as it seems. Read on to know more.

The uterus is the housing environment for the baby, and it is made safe and comfortable by the amniotic sac. The sac contains amniotic fluid which carries out numerous functions, right from maintaining optimal temperature, cushioning the baby’s movements, and so on. The fluid consists of numerous salts, minerals and water; all of which is provided by the mother’s body.

Urination is a natural process of the human body and the baby being able to urinate successfully is a good sign of his development. Babies tend to swallow a lot of amniotic fluid through their development, and they urinate it out. Now, if this urine is not processed appropriately, the collection of those elements can create a condition called polyhydramnios. The waste thrown out of the foetus’ body through its urine remains in the amniotic sac. Although some of it is removed by the placenta, some remains in the amniotic fluid. Therefore, babies tend to swallow their urine in their act of taking in the amniotic fluid and carry out a recycling action of sorts.

While swallowing pee might not seem like a healthy and safe aspect to us, it is totally normal for a baby in the womb as there is no presence of external germs or microbes that might lead to an infection. Furthermore, the very act of swallowing is what helps the child develop the strength he will need to breastfeed successfully. As the body keeps getting the fluid and urine, the urinary and digestive systems begin functioning properly.

Ultrasound scan of a pregnant lady

Do Babies Poop In the Womb?

Now you know where the urine of the foetus goes in the womb. The next question you may have is if the foetus poops in there and whether it swallows the poop too.

You might be able to come to terms with the swallowing of the pee but swallowing poop, gross, isn’t it? You don’t need to throw up as yet since babies don’t usually poop in the womb. Their bowel movements are nearly absent, and the first poop that babies have is usually the meconium that they excrete, which is green in colour.

The reason a human body develops faecal matter is due to the food we eat. Not all of that food is useful to the body, and there is some waste material that remains once we have absorbed the nutrients. In the womb, all the nutrition that the baby needs is provided directly through the umbilical cord. Therefore, there’s no chance the foetus will develop any waste material inside the womb.

What Happens If a Baby Poops in the Womb

Nothing is without exceptions, and there have been certain cases where babies have failed to hold their poop while being in the womb. If a baby does poop in the womb, the meconium circulates in the amniotic sac and mixes up with the amniotic fluid. This is a cause for concern since the baby might inhale it and develop a condition called meconium aspiration syndrome. This condition can lead to developmental disorders or limited breathing capacity after the baby is born. At this point, the doctors may intervene to drain the meconium out with the help of advanced medical procedures or provide supplemental oxygen to keep the baby safe after birth.

Now you know whether a baby poops and pees inside the womb. While it is truly unsafe to have babies to poop in the womb before labour, it is quite natural for them to pee in the womb and swallow it. The journey of a baby’s development is quite unbelievable, but every bit of this information is useful for the parents-to-be. Once you know it all, you will feel proud of yourself and feel ready for parenthood too.

References & Resources:

Also Read: Baby’s Positions in the Womb

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